You get into a car accident, but it’s very minor. What do you do? File an insurance claim? Call a car accident attorney? We are here to answer those questions for you.
Picture this. You are commuting to work and out of nowhere, you are struck by another vehicle. You both exit your vehicles to inspect the damage. You’re both fine and the damage to your car is minor. After exchanging the necessary information, you ask yourself: Is it really necessary to hire a car accident attorney after such a minor car accident?
Did you file a police report? If not, that was your first mistake. In fact, in most states, it’s illegal to fail to file a police report after a car accident, even if it’s a minor one. Don’t make this mistake.
What Is a Minor Car Accident?
A minor car accident is generally when there are no severe injuries, no commercial vehicles are involved, and any property damage is less than $500. In these cases, insurance usually covers your losses.
While minor accidents are fairly simple, seeking legal guidance from a car accident attorney can help you in making a decision.
Injuries That Show Up Later
According to studies, a person might experience various injuries in minor car accidents that don’t manifest for days later. You might get rear ended but feel okay. That’s not always the case.
Hours or even days later, you may feel pain as a result of the accident. You could wake up with back pain tomorrow or the following day if your body was snapped forward, your neck jerked back, or you moved forward suddenly. Following an accident, a rush of adrenaline might conceal an injury.
Most car accident attorneys would advise you to contact a doctor as soon as possible to rule out any concealed ailments.
Other Driver Files A Claim
You exchange information with the other driver and agree that the accident is too minor to file a claim. You decline to file a police report and go about your day.
Weeks later, you are summoned because the other driver has filed a lawsuit against you or your insurance company. They could claim you are are fault. They have exaggerated their damages or injuries. Without a police report at the scene of the accident, it’s a “you say, they say” situation.
In reality, most of these scenarios don’t go very far. Both parties failed to file a police report and left the scene. Regardless of how it plays out, no one wants to be inconvenienced by a lawsuit that may not go anywhere.
Follow the regular procedures following a car accident and you won’t have to deal with this issue.
The best advice we can offer is to: Never admit fault. Be careful what you say. This is why consulting legal advice is important.
Car Accident Attorneys Only Cost If You Win
Although every attorney will charge you, any car accident attorney works on a contingency basis. This means they will only get paid if you receive a favorable settlement. If you are not awarded a settlement, you owe them nothing.
There’s no risk in hiring an attorney following a car accident. Consulting an attorney immediately can determine your rights and chances of winning. You stand to gain a lot more than you stand to lose.
How Long Do I Have to Make a Claim?
The statute of limitations varies in each state. Typically, you have anywhere from 1 to 4 years to file a personal injury claim after a car accident.
However, you should move to file your claim as soon as possible for the best chances of just compensation. The sooner you file, your attorney can gather evidence to build your case. The more severe the accident, the more evidence is needed to help in your claim.
Seeking legal advice is always the best route, whether you retain their services or not.